Women’s week, which happened from Monday, March 19 through Friday, March 23, was organized by several students on campus as part of Women’s History Month. It consisted of programs ranging from slam poetry to sexual violence awareness.
Junior Anna Cooper, an intern at the Women’s Resource Center, played a supportive role in the week’s events.
“(Women’s week) is an opportunity for us to do programming focused on issues that primarily affect women and to raise awareness on various women’s issues. Women are still treated as a marginalized community, so this is a time to focus specifically on women’s history and women’s issues,” said Cooper.
Junior Paige Ruppel is the moderator of the Women’s House, where much of the women’s week programming stemmed from. She said she agreed with Cooper, saying that women’s issues are still relevant today and to our campus.
“The fact that people ask why we even need a women’s week shows that there isn’t enough conversation being generated around these issues,” Ruppel said.
The week began with a display of shirts from a Clothesline Project, which addresses issues of violence against women. Students were invited to join members of the Women’s House in decorating shirts with empowering messages before spring break. These shirts were then hung, lining the JAYwalk all week.
Take Back the Night, a sexual violence speak out and march, is the biggest event of the week, with each member of the Women’s House participating.
Freshman Mady Smith attended the event for the first time on Thursday, March 29.
“I expected it to be emotional, but not as emotional as it was,” Smith said. “I was really proud of everyone who spoke, and I admire them for being able to tell their story.”
Sexual violence can be a difficult subject to breech, which is why Ruppel and the Women’s House organize these events.
“It can be hard to talk about issues of sexual violence, but it needs to be addressed, especially on college campuses,” said Ruppel. “These events create spaces for those conversations to occur.”
Smith said that sexual violence awareness is important.
“I think it’s hard to understand that this can happen to anyone, and people need to know that it does happen.”
Other women’s week programs included a performance by slam poet Andrea Gibson, a documentary on hate speech amongst female peers of the Greek community entitled “Betches Love to Hate,” an open house at the Women’s House, and fundraising for Heifer International, which donates livestock to global communities living in poverty.